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Discussion Starter #1
My question is: Does replacing the front struts require a four wheel alignment, and if so do dealership service techs have an ASE or other special certification requirement for proper use of GM's sub-frame/cradle alignment tool ??? I have fairly good knowledge of alignment principles but no hands on with the cradle alignment tool. Any input would be of great help.

Thanks...Gpr1200r
 

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Discussion Starter #3
GhostRider said:
Got mine back from the dealer yesterday. They replaced one strut and did an alinement .
Do you have proof of the alignment.??? Or maybe they told you this and billed GM as they did with me for an alignment. I am seeing a GM habitual scammer (I.E. falsification of repairs) developing here. WTF???
 

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Screw GM's alignment specs...it's lawyer-influenced to maximize oversteer and keep you out of trouble.

Get a full aftermarket strut / swaybar / bushing suite and take your alignment way out of spec...the car comes alive.
 

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Groucho said:
Screw GM's alignment specs...it's lawyer-influenced to maximize oversteer and keep you out of trouble.


Get a full aftermarket strut / swaybar / bushing suite and take your alignment way out of spec...the car comes alive.
It's actually UNDERSTEER that's dialed into all cars. Oversteer is the condition where the rear end wants to head into the turn before the front. Understeer is when the front wants to go straight. It's much easier to control understeer than oversteer. Even the tail happy Porsche 911s are dialed in with understeer, too many drivers would fall off the road tail first. But throttle induced oversteer can help you rotate around a turn quickly once you get the hang of it.
 

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BV GTO said:
It's actually UNDERSTEER that's dialed into all cars. .
Dammit...that's what I meant to type. Thanks. Proofreading 4tw. :D

Fingers flew faster than my brain.

For what it's worth I have nine degrees of caster and at one point had 2-1/4 degrees of negative camber dailed in. The car handled great- the "push" of understeer was all but gone and the car felt nearly as sharp as my old 323i...and, as you say, she throttle-steers like a dream.

Unfortunately, I drive close to 1000 miles / week in my commute, and this played hell with my tires. I've since dailed it back to 0 deg of camber....but want to compromise and put it back to -1 deg...I miss it, tire wear or no tire wear.
 

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enjracing said:
2 and a quarter degrees of negative would be beautiful!!! i'd hate to check the tires after a few miles though.
It really is great...it gives the car a steering-input approaching the immediacy of my old 323i.

If I didn't pile 50k miles / year on my car, I'd do it anyway.
 

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Gpr1200r said:
My question is: Does replacing the front struts require a four wheel alignment, and if so do dealership service techs have an ASE or other special certification requirement for proper use of GM's sub-frame/cradle alignment tool ??? I have fairly good knowledge of alignment principles but no hands on with the cradle alignment tool. Any input would be of great help.

Thanks...Gpr1200r
I am an alignment tech. Anytime a steering or suspension part is replaced, a 4 wheel alignment needs to be done. I wouldn't recommend taking it to the dealer for an alignment though. You should take it to a tire dealer that offers a long unlimited mileage warranty that doesn't void the alignment warranty if you or anyone else replaces parts on the car. You shouldn't have to adjust the cradle unless it has been severely wrecked. Front camber and toe are already adjustable and there are after market strut rods that allow caster adjustment. I would recommend keeping the caster high with -0.5 degrees cross caster to compensate for the crown in the road. If you have them bring the front camber up to +0.0 degrees, you will not have any inner tire wear or strut rub issues. The alignment should be rechecked at least every 12k miles. This is where the long warranty comes in, because it is free to re-align it. I work at National Tire & Battery and we offer 1,3&5 year alignments 100, 130 & 180 respectively. They are one time transferable if you decide to get rid of your car. This means the remainder of the warranty is transferred to your new vehicle. The warranty cannot be voided either. There is also $20 off coupons at NTB.com.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hey thanks QSGTO. I am looking for a local shop to do the four wheel and take your advice and get the extended policy. It's funny my dealer said they did not have to do an alignment based on the attached doc provided at pick up time after warranty strut replacement. It was pointless to argue for the need of an alignment and they went on to tell me that the suspension needed at least 500 miles on it to settle in before they would do an alignment anyway. Not really trusting them at this point.
 

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I took my car to the dealer last week because I have the "irregular wear" on the inside of my tires. Now, by reading the threads in the forum, we know that for some reason the tires are rubbing the struts. I told them about this and asked them to check this out along with several other things. I came back to pick up my car and they said "yah, you have irregular wear, there's nothing we can do though." I was like "WHAT?!!??" My car has 29k miles, and I have had the right strut replaced at 24k miles. I asked them to check out my left strut because it makes a metal to metal squeaking noise and they told me that it was fine and they didn't hear a noise. It wasn't until I demanded that they get in the car and let me show them what I mean. Sure enough, they heard it that time and now I have a new strut on order.
I was thinking that I should wait until my stut is installed (now I'll have both replaced) and when I get the car back, go to an alignment/tire shop, and have them check the alignment and ask them to see as to why the tires are bald on the inside. Is there any logical explanation for this? I rotate my tires regularly and have decent tread on them still with the exception of the inside. I had wires sticking out of one tire and when I got the most recent alignment, they told me that they don't want to be responsible if something happened to me if I drove off like that. I got a used tire from them so I know that something major wouldn't happen, but what I want to know is that the wear on tire should not be there, correct? I mean, it isn't supposed to wear out like that, right? Can this be attributed to something specifically? And, why did I feel that the dealership could care less? I mean they didn't tell me anything I didn't know already and the answer they told me sounded like a "screw you" type of answer. I'm just concerned about the car and would like to see if anyone has any suggestions as far as to what I should provide to them to PROVE this is a MAJOR PROBLEM to our cars due to the Design of this part. :confused :confused :confused
 
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